2 April 2008
DICKENS, Charles. Sunday under Three Heads. By Timothy Sparks. London: Chapman and Hall, 1836.
8o (162 x 102 mm). Engraved frontispiece and two plates after Hablot K. Browne. (Lightly browned, one or two spots.) Original buff pictorial wrappers, all edges trimmed (slightly soiled, spine chipped and with small repair at the foot); green cloth slipcase. Provenance: "16 April '59" inscribed on recto of first blank; CHARLES DICKENS (bookplates); Kenyon Starling (bookplate).
FIRST EDITION, AND THE AUTHOR'S COPY with second state of his bookplate (torse more angular at right end) and Henry Sotherans' sale label. "It constituted a strong plea for the poor, being written with direct reference to a Bill 'for the better observation of the Sabbath,' which the House of Commons had then recently thrown out by small majority. Sir Andrew Agnew, M.P., brought about an agitation advocating the enforcement of more rigid laws respecting Sunday observance, and Charles Dickens strongly resented these proposals on the ground that the execution of fresh laws would press far more heavily upon the poor than upon the rich, and earnestly pleaded for the encouragement of Sabbath excursions and harmless Sunday amusements, in order to counteract the tendency towards certain forms of dissipation which then usually characterized the habits of plebian Londoners on the Lord's day" (Kitton). Eckel, pp. 102-3 ("one of the scarcest of the minor booklets"); Kitton, pp. 61-64; Yale/Gimbel B30.
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